Life in Jefferson is about life in Northern California or as most up here call it – The North State. Geographically, much of the center is dominated by the Central Valley and the Sacramento River. At right about sea level, the valley remains pretty mild during the winter but becomes brutally hot during the summers. Toward the east, north or south, gentle foothills rise to long mountain ranges. The Sierra Nevadas to the east, Cascades to the north and Coastal mountain range to the west. Smack dab in the middle of the Central Valley and at the southern end of the State of Jefferson is the smallest complete mountain range in the world – The Sutter Buttes. About ten miles by two miles, it’s also distinguished by being one of the rare east-west running ranges.
Terrain-wise, it’s obvious we have diversity. Weather-wise, we have the same. Since the North State has at it’s western edge the Pacific Ocean, we have very mild temps all year long there. Even during the summer, there are long periods where the coastal towns see just fog. Unlike our northern neighbor Oregon, we skip most of the summer rain. On the other side of the map is the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. That’s where we live.
Much of the content of this site will center around the town of Chico, right at the western edge of the Central Valley. Rising from the 50′ above sea level Chico is the area known locally as ‘The Ridge’. Going up the Ridge means going up The Skyway, the primary motor route. Eleven miles up the Skyway and the Ridge is the town of Paradise. Twenty-five thousand or so call it home. We have a hospital and a Safeway and we have the distinction of being the largest town in America solely on septic tanks. A unique and perhaps dubious distinction. Paradise begins at about 1100′ above sea level and continues up to around 2200′. All in about five miles. The middle ground, Bille Road, marks the snow line for most winter storms.
Five more miles up the Skyway lies the town of Magalia. About another fifteen thousand live in and around the tree-filled town. Lots more septic tanks. No hospital. But they do have a Holiday Market, so they have that going for them, which is nice. Magalia goes from about 2400′ to around 3000′ in about five miles of back and forth on the Skyway as it climbs the Ridge. Magalia also marks the end of real centralized ‘towns’. While two more ‘towns’ lie along the increasingly steep – and narrow – climb of the Skyway, they are small with most residents lying in the outlying forests.
Next up is Sterling City. At around three hundred people, Sterling City actually has sewage services – though not through big percolation ponds like most cities. They have a large building which houses all the pieces of a plant in a more upright model. The city has no shops and a small post office. There’s also a closed school. Sterling City rests at around 5000′ above sea level and during the summer, enjoys about a ten degree lower temp than the scorching highs of Chico. Of course, when Chico is 110, 100 in Sterling City is no winter wonderland.
From there, the Skyway becomes a one lane road frequented more by ATV’s and logger trucks than station wagons.
Last along the road, just before Skyway goes from one-lane paved road to gravel (although the fires of 2008 are changing that – Skyway will be paved for another 22 miles to allow for residents to escape if fires block access to the valley as happened during those fires) path, lies the ‘town’ of Inskip. Inskip actually consists of about five buildings, some of which are supposed to be inns, but are never open. Inskip does have the Inskip Inn (closed but scheduled to reopen for business five years ago) and the Inn is haunted.
Above Inskip are miles of (now) paved and unpaved roads and trails. Hunting, fishing (there are many lakes) and access to forests are just part of the attractions.
If you were looking for more on the site, well, you’re outta luck.